The Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Partnership with the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment and the New York City Economic Development Corporation Announce New Grants and Fellowships

First-ever awards offer media & technology innovators financial and resource support to help bring creative projects to life

November 23, 2015 - The Made in NY Media Center by IFP, the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the recipients of two unique grant programs: the Made in NY Fellowships and the Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grants. Funded by MOME, both programs provide resources and capital to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in media and technology in New York City. Recipients were selected based on uniqueness, feasibility and professionalism.

"Championing diversity and innovation in media is a priority for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment," said MOME Acting Commissioner Luis Castro. "These recipients will now have the well-deserved opportunity to realize their creative vision. And all of us will have the chance to experience the great new work they are making. Congratulations to these talented innovators and creators.”

“The Made in NY Media Center by IFP is home to dozens of creative media and technology innovators, and the Made in NY Fellowships and Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grants demonstrate the City’s commitment to helping emerging businesses succeed and thrive," said NYCEDC Senior Vice President Kate Daly. "These programs will provide recipients with the workspace, mentorship and funds they need to take their projects to the next level right here in New York City.”

“We are proud to announce the first recipients of these two important programs which are intended to catalyze creativity and give early-stage projects and businesses the ability to turn concepts into reality,” stated Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center. “"We look forward to the progress this infusion of support and diversity will facilitate within the media + tech community of New York City."

The Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grants
Nine early-stage projects representing innovative approaches to diverse disciplines such as film, virtual reality software, installation art/design, gaming, journalism and community building have been designated to receive Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 in equity- and stake-free funding. The Grants were open to individuals and businesses residing in or operating primarily in New York City.

The winning projects are:

Cannabis Wire (Alyson Martin, Nushin Rashidian)
Cannabis Wire provides comprehensive and non-partisan reporting on legislation and policies on the issue of marijuana across the country. The platform serves as an unbiased source of information, statistics and reporting for the media, researchers, academia and others.

Corrupting the Earth (Jessica Van Garsse, Amy Benziger and Gissou Nia)
A groundbreaking documentary project about political powerplay, and the innocent people caught in the crossfire.

Emerging Market Views (Dawn Kissi)
Emerging Market Views is a video-driven editorial and opinion platform delivering reportage on the world's emerging and frontier markets with a target audience/demographic of the global financial services community.

Evolving Technologies Corporation (Loren Abdulezer)
Real-time editing software for virtual reality content.

How To Make It In:______ (Co-Lab Productions Inc.,Marcus Lehmann, Justine Simonson)
A film series exploring the personal stories and professional struggles of Millennial and Gen-X small business owners in New York and around the world.

Ink Stories (1979 Revolution, Vassiliki Khonsari, Navid Khonsari)
1979 Revolution is an episodic action/adventure game designed to engage players with an immersive "on the ground" experience of the Iranian Revolution

Little Starship Productions (Krishna Ramnath, Jennifer Dumlao)
Animated Pre-school learning apps that help children develop fundamental cognitive skills during early childhood.

the bomb (Smriti Keshari, Rebecca Stern)
Immersive experience using film, art, music and technology to increase interest in and understanding of nuclear policy.

Wayscape (Patrick Mooney, Alan Holt )
Platform for participatory storytelling and networked collaboration among the global gaming community.

Made in NY Fellowships
Ten projects were selected for Made in NY Fellowships in documentary filmmaking, narrative filmmaking, gaming, post-production, animation, virtual reality and media/technology. This year-long program is intended to support diversity among storytellers and entrepreneurs. The recipients will receive 12 months of incubator membership at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, where they have access to a collaborative environment alongside other artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Beneficiaries also receive the opportunity for mentorship from industry leaders and knowledgeable IFP staff, the ability to participate in IFP classes and the access to networking and industry events.

The winning projects are:

Church of Darkness (Dean Colin Marcial)
Online series/feature film hybrid covering strange myths and unsolved mysteries from small-town communities of the American Midwest.

Codex Press (Tim Farnan)
Platform assisting journalists and filmmakers with content creation through a combination of tools for writing, video, audio, fullscreen images and animations.

Corrupting the Earth (Jessica Van Garsse, Amy Benziger, Gissou Nia)
A groundbreaking documentary project about political powerplay, and the innocent people caught in the crossfire.

The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks (Dempsey Rice, Daughter One Productions)
Animated documentary featuring the prodigious work and words of neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, M.D.

Empathetic Media (Dan Archer)
Technology for the real-world projection of 3D models using a smartphone camera and AR headset.

Gamechaser (Michael Piggott, Gabriel Velez)
Platform facilitating real-time connections between gamers from around the world.

Kitsplit (Lisbeth Kaufman, Ken Amarit, Kristina Budelis)
The on-demand rental marketplace for top-quality cameras and related gear like drones and virtual reality headsets.

Le Temps Perdu (Zohar Kfir)
Experimental, virtual-reality film that leverages a found-film footage archive for the creation of a new, inventive work.

limeSHIFT (Elizabeth Thys, Yazmany Arboleda)
We combine art, community building, and business strategy to transform work spaces, activate employees, manage change, develop brands, and engage customers.

Papa (Yves Wilson)
Short-form documentary series that shares five unique stories to reveal truths about black fatherhood in 2016 America.

When We Walk (Jason DaSilva)
Participatory documentary about the state of inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities in today’s world.

About the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is comprised of two divisions: the Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting, and NYC Media. The Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting serves as a one-stop shop for the entertainment industry and promotes New York City as a thriving center of creativity, issuing permits for productions filming on public property, and facilitating production throughout the five boroughs. NYC Media is the City’s official broadcast network and media production group, with programming that informs, educates, and entertains New Yorkers about the City's diverse people, neighborhoods, services, attractions, and activities. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About the New York City Economic Development Corporation
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About the Made in NY Media Center by IFP
The Made in NY Media Center by IFP was developed through a unique partnership between Independent Filmmaker Project, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Made in NY Media Center by IFP is where storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries, and platforms create, collaborate, connect, and incubate across a spectrum of programs, events, and experiences. The Media Center brings together innovators in film, video, gaming, technology, and more through education, mentorship, entrepreneurship, and content creation. Since opening its doors, the Media Center has held more than 100 classes and 300 events serving more than 25,000 people in its classrooms, media gallery, theater, café, incubator, and community member spaces. For more information, visit

About IFP
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Independent Film Awards, and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a new incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. IFP represents a growing network of 10,000 storytellers around the world and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 35-year-history, IFP has supported over 8,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Debra Granik, Laura Poitras, Dee Rees, Gillian Robespierre and Benh Zeitlin. For more information, visit

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